It’s just after Labor Day which means we have less then 100 days before we’re walking on ice. I am not one to wait till last minute to get my gear ready. Over the weekend I spent a little time in the garage assessing my gear. I moved the hitches, extra buckets, chairs and stuff like that to the snowmobile trailer. In the weeks to come it will be time to inventory rods, reels, line and tackle.
While inventorying rods I will check the guides closely for any damage. The reels will get last year’s line stripped off of them, cleaned and lubricated for the upcoming season. After that I will look at the line inventory, if I have enough ice line I will respool them as you get time. The tackle is the best part of the inventory. A few years ago, I started using Clam’s jig boxes and soft plastics wallets. These do help keep me organized. If I’m lucky I put the tackle away in the boxes they belong in, if not it will be taken care of during a preseason game. After organizing my tackle, I can take a quick inventory and make a list on my phone of anything I need to restock.
Every fall tackle manufacturer’s come out with their new shapes and colors. It’s always a challenge to see what we can’t live without. I tend to be a “shapes and size “guy more than a color guy. By understanding what you like to use, it helps keep your new orders in budget with your wallet.
While the weather is still warm, it’s a good idea to pull out the tents. Are they dirty, torn or just in need of a little tlc? Now is a good time to take note and get these ready. Look at the stitching closely making sure its not coming apart. Are the windows in good shape? How about the zippers? Did you bend or break any poles last year? Are the tubs cracked or worn down? You still have plenty of time to get these in shape for the season.
Later in the season I will go through the snow machines and service them. Along with a service I will spend time looking at the body to make sure I did not crack anything last year. Check the hitches closely, these go through a lot of stress during the season. I also start my machines once a month throughout the summer to make sure the fuel does not evaporate and dry out the carbs.
This is a list I use to get ready for the ice season. It allows me to move at a comfortable pace and be ready when the ponds freeze up here. I always find more to do but that’s the idea, start slowly and keep moving at your comfort level and you won’t be in a last-minute panic. The other advantage of Labor Day is the water is starting to cool down and that great open water fishing will be getting warmed up. Don’t forget to harass those fish and while you’re out there look for new spots to ice fish.